Greg Gumbel

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Greg Gumbel
Greg Gumbel 2005.jpg
Gumbel in 2005.
Born(1946-05-03) May 3, 1946 (age 68)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
EthnicityLouisiana Creole
Alma materLoras College
OccupationSportscaster
Spouse(s)Marcy Gumbel
ChildrenMichelle
Parents
  • Richard Dunbar Gumbel
  • Rhea Alice LeCesne
Relatives
  • Bryant Gumbel (brother)
  • Renee Gumbel-Farrahi (sister)
  • Rhonda Gumbel-Thomas (sister)
 
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Greg Gumbel
Greg Gumbel 2005.jpg
Gumbel in 2005.
Born(1946-05-03) May 3, 1946 (age 68)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
EthnicityLouisiana Creole
Alma materLoras College
OccupationSportscaster
Spouse(s)Marcy Gumbel
ChildrenMichelle
Parents
  • Richard Dunbar Gumbel
  • Rhea Alice LeCesne
Relatives
  • Bryant Gumbel (brother)
  • Renee Gumbel-Farrahi (sister)
  • Rhonda Gumbel-Thomas (sister)

Greg Gumbel (born May 3, 1946) is an American television sportscaster. He is best known for his various assignments on the CBS network (most notably, the National Football League and NCAA basketball). The older brother of news and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, he became the first African-American (and Creole) announcer to call play-by-play of a major sports championship in the United States when he announced Super Bowl XXXV for the CBS network in 2001. He is of Creole ancestry.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Gumbel was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first child of parents Richard Gumbel, a judge, and Rhea Alice LeCesne. As a young man, Gumbel grew up on Chicago's South Side, where he attended and graduated from De La Salle Institute. Before becoming a broadcaster, Gumbel graduated with a B.A. degree in English from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he also played on the baseball team. He also has two sisters, Renee Gumbel-Farrahi and Rhonda Gumbel-Thomas.

Career[edit]

In 1973, Greg's brother Bryant Gumbel informed him that a Chicago TV station (WMAQ-TV) was auditioning for a sports announcer. At the time, Greg was selling hospital supplies in Detroit. He ultimately got the job and worked there for seven years. The sportscaster he replaced, Dennis Swanson, went on to become president of ABC Sports.

Prior to his rising to prominence at CBS, Gumbel worked for MSG, ESPN, and WFAN radio in New York City. At ESPN, he anchored the show SportsCenter and did "play-by-play" for early NBA games. On MSG, Gumbel served as a backup announcer for Marv Albert on New York Knicks broadcasts as well as providing coverage for college basketball. When MSG signed a huge contract to broadcast New York Yankees games in 1989, Gumbel served as host of the pregame and postgame shows. In addition to his MSG duties, he was the host of the first radio morning show on radio station WFAN.

First CBS stint[edit]

Gumbel's CBS career began with part-time work as an NFL announcer in 1988. Also in 1989, Gumbel began announcing college basketball as well. He became host of The NFL Today (alongside Terry Bradshaw) for the 1990 to 1993 seasons. He also anchored CBS' coverage of Major League Baseball, college football, and CBS' coverage for the Daytona 500.

Besides his hosting duties, Gumbel provided play-by-play for the NBA, Major League Baseball including the 1993 American League Championship Series (alongside Jim Kaat), and College World Series baseball.

He was the prime time anchor for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games from Lillehammer, Norway and co-anchor for the weekday morning broadcasts of the 1992 Winter Olympics from Albertville, France.

NBC Sports[edit]

Gumbel moved to NBC in 1994 following CBS' losses of the NFL and Major League Baseball broadcasting contracts. While at NBC, Gumbel hosted NBC's coverage of the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He also did play-by-play for the 1995 Major League Baseball National League Division Series and National League Championship Series (on both occasions, teaming with Joe Morgan), did play-by-play for The NBA on NBC, hosted NBC's daytime coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympics from Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the 1995 World Championships of Figure Skating, and served as the studio host for The NFL on NBC.

Current CBS career[edit]

Gumbel left NBC after the network broadcast of Super Bowl XXXII to return to CBS. His first major assignment was to serve as studio host for the network's coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA men's basketball tournament, something he continues to do to this day.

As CBS had just acquired the rights to NBC's previous NFL package, Gumbel joined the broadcast team as lead announcer with fellow NBC alumnus Phil Simms as his color man. Gumbel was lead announcer for The NFL on CBS between 1998 and 2003, calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII during that time period. For the 2004 NFL season, Gumbel traded positions with Jim Nantz as host of The NFL Today with Nantz taking over as lead announcer. At the end of the 2005 NFL season, Gumbel was replaced as studio host of The NFL Today by James Brown. Gumbel returned to the broadcast booth as the #2 play-by-play man, replacing Dick Enberg, alongside color man Dan Dierdorf until Dierdorf retired after the 2013–14 NFL season.

Personal[edit]

Greg, his wife Marcy, brother Bryant and their married daughter Michelle, all reside in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.

Politics[edit]

In 1999, Gumbel refused to attend a NASCAR banquet honoring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on the basis that he disagreed with Thomas' positions on political issues.[1] He has regularly appeared on Howard Stern's radio show.[2] Along similar lines, Gumbel said of Rush Limbaugh, "I find him someone whose words and opinions I can do without."[3]

Legacy[edit]

Gumbel is the third man to serve as both host and play-by-play announcer for Super Bowls (the first two were Dick Enberg and Al Michaels respectively). He hosted Super Bowls XXVI, XXX, and XXXII before calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. Jim Nantz became the fourth man to do so after he called Super Bowl XLI for CBS.

During his tenure as the chief anchor of The NFL Today, he served alongside co-anchors Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason. The group was known to call him by his nickname "Gumby."

Career timeline[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik (February 15, 1999). "AUTO RACING: NOTEBOOK; Restrictor-Plate Races Are Still Martin's Bane". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Pergament, Alan (February 19, 1994). "CBS GETTING HIGH MARKS FOR RATINGS, INTERPRETATION". Buffalo News. 
  3. ^ Shister, Gail (May 24, 2000). "Is football making a pass at Limbaugh or just fumbling?". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
Preceded by
Brent Musburger
Jim Nantz
The NFL Today host
19901993
20042005
Succeeded by
Jim Nantz
James Brown
Preceded by
Tim McCarver and Paula Zahn
American television prime time anchor, Winter Olympic Games
1994
Succeeded by
Jim Nantz
Preceded by
Jim Lampley
Studio host, NFL on NBC
19941997
Succeeded by
Bob Costas
Preceded by
Bob Costas, Dick Enberg, Gayle Gardner and Hannah Storm
American television daytime anchor, Summer Olympic Games
1996
Succeeded by
Hannah Storm
Preceded by
Pat Summerall
Lead play-by-play announcer, NFL on CBS
19982003
Succeeded by
Jim Nantz
Preceded by
Pat O'Brien
Studio Host, College Basketball on CBS
1998–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Dick Enberg
#2 play-by-play annnouncer NFL on CBS
2006–present
Succeeded by
incumbent